November 12, 2009
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If my personal activities portion of this application seem a little skimpy, or perhaps not as full as many other applicants, I’d like to offer an explanation: “Cenobites are not idlers, nor is the recluse a do-nothing." I ask that you look past my lack of reported activities, and think along the lines of Victor Hugo; it may not seem as if I’ve done much extracurricular work, but perhaps there’s more than just what appears on the surface. I believe that many people are not all they seem, and just need someone to look a little deeper and find what truly makes them worthwhile. Gold must be dug for before you can appreciate its worth, and I think the same goes for individuals. No, I have not been as active as some of my peers in after-school activities or clubs, but it was not, I assure you, out of disinterest; I regret not participating more, but other things were on my plate, just as I’m sure there were important things on the plates of those who did participate.
I never participated in track or another sport; I waited until I got home so my sister and I could walk together instead. I was not in chorus, and I dropped out of band in my ninth grade year. I did not enjoy playing saxophone or singing as much as I did listening to someone with actual talent (of which I freely admit I had little.) Instead I taught myself piano and have been playing on my own for eight years; I don’t have much talent in this area either (probably from not having a real teacher), but I know enough to play my favorite songs and I enjoy it immensely. Rather than having a job, though I applied for quite a few, I took care of my nephews every day after school so their parents, my siblings, could have a little peace; they needed help, and still do, more than I needed a small income.
I don’t have an answer for every activity in which I didn’t participate; some simply didn’t interest me, while others I had no way to attend. But I was still active, and I was still participating. But how would I list these activities on an application? “Writing to Enhance Skills Club,” “Reading to Broaden Horizons Meetings,” or maybe “Creativity for Sheer Enjoyment Team”. If I could list such activities, believe me, I would in a heartbeat because I was very involved in each. But instead I just have this statement, and maybe one more quote from Mr. Hugo: “A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and an invisible labor.”
I appreciate your time, and I hope that as you consider other candidates and me for admission, you remember to look for the invisible, even though it is sometimes difficult to spot.

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